1. This insightful documentary shows how we shape the world by how we choose to allocate our dollars. A seemingly trivial decision of where to open a bank account can have ramifications that span the globe.
    By banking locally we empower ourselves by knowing that our money is contributing to a thriving, vibrant local community. Decentralize and put your money where your life is!
    Well done, Kyle!

  2. Wow! What a powerful movie!! I’m going to forward this to all my friends, together we can all make a difference!

  3. Neat Video Kyle! I like the anti-coal power plant message but I think you are over-glorifying the actions of “local banks.” You touch on a very important subject – the link between banks and the “central banking system.” An investigation into how all banks (large, small, international, and local) are interconnected and interdependent might have altered your conclusions and message.

    You are giving the “local banks” credit for something that they are forced into doing – Santa Cruz Community Bank would make the loan to build the coal power plant if they had the $$$ to make it happen. Banks are not in business to do nice things… they are in business to make $$$. All banks (big ones and small ones) look at the spread on the interest rates they pay on their deposit accounts and the interest they receive on loans… they could care less about what effects the project is having on the environment. Banks are businesses – when bankers don’t make loans – bankers lose their jobs. When it comes to banks – a spade is a spade.

  4. Credit Unions vs. Banks

    A lot of people seem to be confusing credit unions with banks… they are two different animals.

    Credit Unions: (Bay Federal)

    Banks: (B of A, Santa Cruz County Bank)

  5. Hey Waylon,
    Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to get some discussions going on this subject.
    First off, I totally agree with you that the banking system is interconnected and ultimately, all banks are under the control of the Federal Reserve System, and that the system needs change.
    However, a big difference between centralized banks, and local banks is that local banks rely a lot more on their reputation to stay in business. Local banks also rely on their community doing well to stay in business, whereas centralized banks do not.
    If Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) funded a project for a coal plant to go into Santa Cruz (SC) it wouldn’t be profitable for them overall, because it wouldn’t be profitable for SC overall. The coal plant would kill the fish so the fisherman loose their jobs, make people sick and put them out of work, throw soot all over the place, and cause tourism to majorly decline etc.
    SCCCU has an interest in SC’s economy doing well, so they are more likely to fund projects that will help the local economy.
    On the other hand, centralized banks, have their arms all over the world, and don’t have a vested interest in whether a local economy fails or succeeds. And because centralized banks get subsidized in the form of bailouts, they get paid even if they’re funding projects that are destroying communities.


  6. Great work, Kyle! Straight to the point. What people have to realize is that there is no such thing as ‘clean coal.’ It’s puzzling why the government of Chile still has not taken a more enlightened approach to producing energy. They are damming all of their rivers, building fossil fuel burning behemoths, and raping their forests to feed another gross polluter: pulp mills. And yet they have wind galore and thousands of miles of empty coastline. Wake up, Chile! And the same goes for you, Bank of America!

  7. […] by Branden in Global Finance, RAN General on July 24th, 2009 Claim your change by Kyle Thiermann Kyle decided to do something to help the folks in Chile fight a coal plant proposed for their local […]

  8. A REAL eye opener Kyle. I’m sorry we have a mortgage through Bank Of America. Next home we buy, I will remember seeing your info. Thank you for making a difference.

  9. Bravo!


  11. Good stuff!

    I am, however, surprised to see there has been no accreditation to the video “Money As Debt” by Paul Grignon in the credits as there is some footage from this video in your presentation.

    For those who wish to see the full length video, Google “Money As Debt” video.

    Keep up the good work.

  12. […] year Santa Cruz surfer Kyle Theirmann launched a campaign to let us surfers know how the bank we choose effects the environment and our lifestyle. It’s a kind of out there thing to think about, but it’s true that if you’re […]

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